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No time for change: Half of us believe cash will become extinct

Over one in eight of us don’t carry cash and half of us believe coins and notes will become obsolete in the future, according to research from Barclaycard and Barclays*.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

No time for change: Half of us believe cash will become extinct

Over one in eight of us don’t carry cash and half of us believe coins and notes will become obsolete in the future, according to research from Barclaycard and Barclays*.

The research finds that the average British purse or wallet contains just £23 and the majority of us (57%) refuse to carry around one or two penny coins. Half of us (50%) give away small change in some form - either to charity, to children, or simply by throwing it in the bin.

Two thirds of people find carrying cash inconvenient with the top reasons for avoiding cash including the nuisance of receiving a pile of coins back in change, the weight of coins, and the amount of space cash takes up. A tenth (9%) of people find the impact on the line of their clothes a drawback to carrying cash and this is significantly higher among men (15%) compared with women (3%).

In contrast, a third (32%) of consumers prefers to pay by card because it means they never have to worry about carrying cash. Additionally, 17% of people cite the ability to keep track of spending as a benefit of paying by card. New technologies, such as contactless payments, are making paying by card easier, encouraging many shoppers to replace cash for small purchases.

The research also reveals that 41% of shoppers have walked away from a small value purchase in the past because they didn’t have enough cash on them. This was noticeably higher among younger people – 51% of 18-24 year olds admitted to this, compared to 18% of those aged over 65.

Shoppers are also revealed to have a greater understanding of other methods of payment that will save them time and avoid having to carry cash, such as contactless. Almost half of consumers (44%) now recognise the contactless logo at the point of sale, while at the same time in 2010, only a quarter (28%) of people were able to identify it.**

* 2000 consumers polled in June 2011 by Populus; research commissioned by Barclays and Barclaycard

**2000 consumers polled in June 2010 by Populus; research commissioned by Barclays and Barclaycard:

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